6 Types of Security Systems for Virginia Businesses

Installing a security system for your business is a no-brainer.

Not only are certain security measures required by law, most security products today can also save money and help increase profit.

But what types of security systems/products should you install? It all depends on the type of business you own and the level of security you want/need.

To help you make the decision, we’ll walk through 6 different types of business security systems:

  • Fire alarm systems
  • Burglary alarm systems
  • Access control systems
  • Video surveillance systems
  • Environmental alarm systems
  • Monitored vs unmonitored systems


Need professional advice? The security pros at Richmond Alarm Companies can help determine what types of commercial security systems/products your business needs to install.

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1.Fire alarm systems

A commercial fire alarm system consists of multiple devices that work together to detect and alert people/authorities when smoke, fire and/or carbon monoxide is present.

At the most basic level, a commercial fire alarm system includes 1 or more of the following devices:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Smoke detector
  • Heat detector
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Manual fire alarm activation
  • Fire sprinklers

The bottom line: All businesses must follow strict fire safety laws. But some businesses are required to have more sophisticated fire alarm systems than others.

The type and complexity of your business’ fire alarm system depends on your local codes.

If you’re unsure of your area’s fire safety requirements, ask our team for advice. Our licensed security professionals can custom-design a system that meets local code requirements so that you won’t be liable for any damage/fatality that occurs due to fire, smoke or high CO levels.

2.Burglar alarm systems

A commercial “burglar” alarm system (i.e. “intrusion” or “security” alarm systems) refers to any group of devices that monitor for/alert you of any unwanted intrusion into your business.

These systems include any or all of the following devices:

  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Access control panels
  • Surveillance cameras
  • Motion sensors
  • Tamper loops

Of course, the list goes on and on. What products your company needs really just depends on how well-secured you want your business to be.

3.Access control systems

Access control systems are a combination of devices that control/notify you of who enters your business and when.

These systems can also be used to track user activity, location and productivity.

Some common access control devices include:

  • Keypads
  • Card readers/scanners
  • Electronic door locks
  • Door lock alarms
  • Access management dashboard

Some companies are required by law to have some form of access control system installed, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Banks
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Health insurance companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Companies that accept/process credit cards
  • Saas providers/data centers
  • Businesses within cybersecurity industry

4.Video surveillance systems

A commercial video surveillance system is a group of strategically-placed security cameras that capture images and videos of activity in/around your business. The footage can be stored or sent via communication networks and viewed by certain users.

A basic video surveillance system is typically comprised of:

  • High quality indoor/outdoor security cameras
  • Recorders
  • Video management software
  • Application software
  • Video encoders
  • Mobile peripherals

Depending on your business’ security needs, you can choose a surveillance system that:

  • Provides live video feed for constant monitoring
  • Records and stores clips of suspicious activity
  • Records and stores footage constantly

5.Environmental alarm systems

Some companies need protection from extremes in the environment. That’s where an “environmental” alarm system comes into play.

Commercial environmental alarm systems can include:

  • Flood sensors
  • Temperature sensors
  • Sump pump level monitors
  • Furnace/AC failure tie-in
  • Low fuel oil sensors
  • Gas/CO detectors

6.Monitored vs. unmonitored

All of the security systems listed above can fall into one of the following categories:

  • Monitored system
  • Unmonitored system

Monitored security system

A monitored system offers added security and peace of mind that your business is being monitored 24/7, even when you’re not there.

With a monitored system, a monitoring company is notified immediately in the event of a triggered alarm or emergency. From there, the company will immediately dispatch the appropriate authorities if the event is truly an emergency.

The downside is that this monitoring service doesn’t come free.

Businesses can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300+ per month for monitoring.

A business’ monthly monitoring price may depend on:

  • The company you choose for monitoring
  • The number of security products being monitored
  • Type of security products being monitored

Unmonitored security system

An unmonitored system simply means that, in the event of a triggered alarm/emergency, you’ll need to call the authorities yourself. Of course, if you’re not there to hear the alarm, you risk property damage, theft and more.

The good news is that nowadays, business owners with unmonitored systems can get remote control/notifications. That means, anytime an alarm is triggered, you’ll be notified of the event via your smart device. However, from there, you’ll still need to call the authorities yourself. Plus, this service is useless if you don’t get the notification (i.e. if your smart device is turned off).

Not sure what security products your business needs?

The first step is contacting RAC for a free property assessment to determine your business’ security needs. Once we’ve identified your security weak spots, we can design and install your business’ security system.Trust us for code-compliant security systems that protect and enhance your business!

Why choose RAC for your business security system?

Richmond Alarm has protected businesses within the Virginia and North Carolina area for more than 70 years. We specialize in providing custom-designed security systems that are protected 24/7 by our local monitoring center. In fact, Richmond Alarm is the only 5 Diamond rated monitoring station in Central Virginia and we have a 60% faster response rate to emergency calls than the industry standard.

Plus, our security professionals are trained and experienced to work with any existing security products your business already has, which can end up saving you time and money.

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